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Key & English lose us $21mil in 3 months

Written By: - Date published: 3:23 pm, November 4th, 2009 - 40 comments
Categories: national/act government, superannuation - Tags: , , ,

Back in February, former currency speculator John Key and former Treasury adviser Bill English started talking about suspending contributions to the Cullen Fund, which was set up to help fund superannuation. ‘It’s losing so much money’, they wailed.

Some people pointed out that the markets were already recovering, that investments could now be bought at once in a generation low prices. But we were ignored.

Unfortunately, and in spite of Treasury papers being leaked that showed it would cost the country $8 billion by 2023, Key and English went ahead and essentially cancelled the contributions to the Cullen Fund from July 1.

So far that decision has cost us $21 million. That’s the return on investment above the cost of borrowing we would have made in just three months if the contributions had continued, based on the Cullen Fund’s performance. Since March, the Cullen Fund has earned 23.5% returns against the borrowing cost of 1.6% during the same time.

3 months, $21 million down the drain. The cost of that mistake will keep on compounding and compounding. Soon it will be in the billions. Even when contributions are eventually restarted, the Fund’s value will never get to the heights it would have. This decision by a former currency speculator and a former Treasury adviser could become the most expensive financial mistake in New Zealand history

And the cost of their folly will come out of your superannuation.

40 comments on “Key & English lose us $21mil in 3 months”

  1. This is not a mistake.

    This is about the wilful destruction of NZ’s middle class to better to loot the country when his mates move in. John Key does not make mistakes. He implements his masters directives.

    A poor people are preoccupied with making ends meet and not with preserving Nature reserves or pollution rules and regulations and as far as superannuation goes; who needs lots of old people.

    • logie97 1.1

      What is to stop Nact cashing the whole fund in sooner than later to offer it up as a tax rebate come election time. Be quite a large amount to splash around – they might even suggest we make our own Super arrangements and offer the “gift” as a generous kick start…

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    National has been bad for the economy every time they’ve been in power so what makes anybody think this time will be different and what makes them think it isn’t purposeful?

  3. tc 3

    That’s quantifiable, how much will other NACT policies cost NZ in the long run with Tolley driving out good educators with her ‘Danger Low Brow’ approach, Nick Smith -say no more really on that one, Gerry opening us up to mining, the continued hammering of lowly paid workers and expats watching all this from Oz and beyond being expected to happily return…..YEAH RIGHT.
    Then there’s Maori/ACT and whatever it is they’ve done which will all come out after they’ve done the damage.
    Some sectors of NZ have only just recovered from Muldoon…..in time for Blinglish and our PM Gordon Gecko wannabe to send us all back decades again.
    Clark/Cullen and crew became stale and misread the electorate but essentially did a heap of good stuff…..now watch the wrecking crew at work.

    • Chris 3.1

      you forgot the $11b that it’ll cost to fix up leaky homes… a direct result of National policies…

      • lprent 3.1.1

        Yeah, my building (and I) just picked up their millions from the council.

        I’d preferred to have had a better building than go through the last 4 years of hell.

  4. cocamc 4

    Ok, just a question MartyG. If the Govt had borrowed the money and the markets then softened again would you then accuse them of losing us money as well? And do you know that the money will come out of our superannuation when I retire in 20 years? Please tell me cause I thought National was setting policy and not the Standard.

    • lprent 4.1

      Ummm I never noticed you not having anything critical to say about government policy and performance under the last government… In fact from your comments on this site alone you were critical of everything from Labour and always willing to say how you thought they should have done it (which usually coincided with NACT policies and usually had a rather low level of logic in my opinion (ie they often felt like the dog-whistle of the week)).

      Now you appear to be saying that voters (just like yourself) shouldn’t be critical about the policies and performance of this government?

      Tell me have you looked in the mirror lately and asked how much of a hypocrite you are? Because that is what you appear to be saying.

      • cocamc 4.1.1

        lprent
        Only joined the reading of the site late in the piece. Plenty of things I can be critical about from the previous Govt, and plenty I can be critical of this one too.

        If MartyG wants to talk about superannuation and how this government is costing us money then I should be entitled to ask him if they had borrowed the money and we’d still lost money – would he be happy. No one knew the markets would bounce back as quickly as they did – they could have quite easily tanked even more and we’d have bought equities, etc at higher prices and then a longer time to recover.

        Everyone seems to chip at the sidelines about Superannuation but it needs a new approach. Personally I do not expect in 20 years that the government will be able to pay my superannuation so things have gotta change, e.g.

        I wish Labour had had the the guts to take the next logical step and make it compulsory – it’s a great scheme.

        The Cullen Fund was to my understanding to pay for the baby boomer generation (not me). Once that is done with then I hope the following generations have retirement organised. I support National but I wish they’d have the gumption reach out across the political divide and put something in place once and for all. Then we can stop having a debate about the same old things all the time.

        • lprent 4.1.1.1

          That wasn’t what I was asking about, was it. You were asking if Marty was making policy. But of course every voter does that. Demanding that he shouldn’t is just pure hypocrisy with your track record…..

          The problem with super is that it is set up as current worker generation pays. The type of system you’re wanting is what Kirk set up. Kiwisaver was an obvious transition system, however NACT have massively cut that as well.

          Now if you’re willing to pay double to do the transition (ie pay for you and me), then I’m happy for you to do it. In the meantime I have a considerable amount of money put into the current super system and intend to make sure that my grey voting power sucks it out of those who are now due to pay for it. The less money available, the more that crop of taxpayers winds up paying. Personally I’d prefer to put the costs in while I’m still working… The various costs you are talking about are peanuts compared to the costs on later taxpayers.

          Thank National and Robert Muldoon.

          • cocamc 4.1.1.1.1

            I agree with you re Superannuation ( but not sure about paying twice 🙂 ). Why should I expect to have future tax payers fund my retirement – its my reponsibility now while working to put those funds aside.

            Any transition is going to be hard to manage. Superannuation is one thing I do think National is being very weak on. As I sort of said, kudos to Labour for Kiwisaver.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1.1.1

              National are weak on everything that has to do with economics – they’re entire economic policy seems to be spending/borrowing now and have the (assumed) richer later generations pay for it. This shows up in Muldoons dropping of compulsory super back in 1975 (just think of how much better off we’d be now if we’d kept that) and their crying out for tax cuts over the last few years (they may have stopped the present cuts but they’re still in the pipeline). Such a policy falls flat when later generations are going to be worse off.

    • Lanthanide 4.2

      As further to what cocamc has asked, what would have happened to NZ if they had kept borrowing to put into the Cullen fund, and as a result NZs investment rating had been downgraded?

      I know at the time you kept saying that it was all just scare tactics and they wouldn’t lower the rating, and even if they did, it wouldn’t be a problem. But I have not actually seen any concrete evidence or expert opinion from you that your assertions (1. that they wouldn’t downgrade it, and 2. if they did it wouldn’t matter) are correct.

      Really it’s a simple risk vs reward scenario – they may have seen that if we continued to invest in the Cullen fund, that the rating would be downgraded and bad things would stem from that, vs suspending contributions and avoiding the downgrade. In other words, they took the lesser of the two evils – either option is bad for the country but avoiding the ratings downgrade and sacrificing the $21M was ‘less bad’.

      • Pascal's bookie 4.2.1

        I do remember at the time, on I think it was natrad, the guy from the ratings agency that was threatening the downgrade saying that they were happy about the budget because canceling the tax cuts allayed their concerns. Which makes a lot more sense in terms of their worries.

  5. So Bored 5

    During a recession of huge dimensions the nats have manageed to lose a heap of cash to long term debt. This is good for their paymasters as it means long term guaranteed returns from impoverished NZers. In between times the NACTs have also given money to their mates as tax cuts…the end result is:

    * a level of debt we could have avoided through the tax take being diminished by tax cuts.
    * a shift of the risk profile from the lender to the citizens of NZ, generally those least able to pay via a slanted (away from the rich) tax system.
    * debt levels that are an argument for privatisation of public assetts.

    All up this represents a huge shift of wealth from those of us who can least afford it to those that already have too much.

  6. Endymion 6

    I’m neither a ‘successful’ currency speculator – a purely parasitic occupation if there is one – nor a Finance Minister with battalions of overpaid economics advisors to interrogate, but I still made the decision to open my KiwiSaver account in March because it was obvious that there were good returns to be had from it. So far my KiwiSaver account has made money – and not just from the taxpayer’s contribution to it.

  7. Scribe 7

    3 months, $21 million down the drain. The cost of that mistake will keep on compounding and compounding. Soon it will be in the billions.

    Wow, I’ve got $21K in the bank. Using your exponential mathematics, Marty, I’m soon to become a millionaire.

    Bring back Tane! And — I never thought I’d say this — bring back Steve Pierson!

    • BLiP 7.1

      The greatest short coming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function

      Albert A Bartlett

  8. Walter 8

    Please note also that the ‘in deep financial trouble’ ACC made huge profits on its investments in the same period.

  9. TightyRighty 9

    How can you lose “$21m” dollars if you never had it in the first place? it’s actually that a potential gain of $21m wasn’t made. the opportunity was there and wasn’t taken that is. as this then represents an opportunity cost and not a real cost, it is only economic, and therefore not worthy of any consideration given the scathing comments made about economists on this site.

    • felix 9.1

      I think that’s a fair point – it makes more sense to say they “cost” us 21mil than “lost” it.

    • lprent 9.2

      Watching the bloody Nats screw up super from well before you were born. It has been the considered opinion of most people of my age that we wouldn’t get what we were paying for because of the Nats mismanaging what we’ve been paying for decades. It is only the stupid and the young who haven’t figured out the issue of National and super.

      Muldoon set it up under-forward-funded because that dipshit wanted to win an election by forward loading the costs to the future rather than save as you earn. There is a bloody great big spike of people to go into the scheme between now and 2050. We’d prefer not to double your tax rates so we’ve been putting money aside so we don’t have to. These dumb-arses in this NACT government prefer that you pay more tax in the future rather than doing investment now.

      Their logic is that tax-cuts will provide more productivity than having a local capital investment fund. It is half-arsed logic because as long as I’ve been in business, investment capital here hasn’t been scarce, it has been virtually non-existent at any kind of acceptable rate. The rate is a consequence of the shortage and the perceived risk against stuffing it into houses. It is the main constraint on improving productivity.

      Really the reason for the NACT’s screwing around with the superannuation is because they want to win elections with taxcut bribes – which is where I came in… National are very conservative idiots.

      • TightyRighty 9.2.1

        And no one is arguing the point that investment capital is limited in NZ Lprent. what is arguable is that tax cuts don’t improve productivity. eventually the property boom must cease if everyone has spare cash for investment as the supply of available land dries up to a certain extent, or people aren’t convinced the return from property is as great as could be achieved elsewhere. whats needed is a capital gains tax on people who regularly trade in housing. or ring fence the family home or whatever. this would bring rates of return in line with what is on offer in the share market currently and then people could make more rational choices. however choice is curtailed at the moment due to the excessive tax regime. $1000 per year in the average new zealanders pay packet equates to around $2.2 billion of extra spending per year available in private hands, which should then generate more tax dollars to make up the lost revenue from a cut “north of $50 per week.” whether it is spent on consumption or investment is irrelevant in that context, though perhaps returns on shareholding could be taxed at a lower rate to encourage more investment in capital raising ventures.

  10. gnomic 10

    Agreed that the Nats ought not to have cancelled, er ‘suspended’ contributions. But could we wait another six months say, before breaking out the champagne in honour of the recovery, and the never to be repeated low asset values? Some think that the global economy, and hence NZ’s, is not home free yet. Rod Oram for example was on National Radio recently saying there could still be bad news in the next few months to match the events of late 2008.

  11. Has anyone done the maths and seen how much 21 million equates to in terms of super payments, doesn’t seem like it. It’s SFA.

    • lprent 11.1

      Ummm you don’t understand compounding do you?

      Also the plan from the NACT’s is to not put more money into the fund for the next 10 years (?) or so. So that money doesn’t increase either. So instead of rising to conservatively cover something like a third or more of the peak of superannuation costs, it will wind up paying 10-15% at best. The difference, it will cost you through your taxes because I won’t be paying taxes then. You probably will, and there will be a lot less of you to pay them compared to now.

      This is the cost of the small tax-cut now, which you will probably squander or lose to higher costs. Instead, you will pay a lot more tax later…. Loser…

      • Settle down mate. I was pointing out that 21 million is small fish in the grand scale of national finances. I stand by that.

        Governments of both persuasions have worn greater opportunity costs with needless arts, sports and welfare financing over the years.

  12. Jcw 12

    This level of return wont continue infinetly into the future, as this is comparing it to when prices were at rock bottom. Comparing the average return made over the funds lifetime would yield a much lower result, remember almost all of that 23% made in the past few montsh would only just balance out the loss made on the dive.

    The government should focus on growing the economy – as this is where taxes are collected from. The government is in a unique position to invest in such things as roads, education and other infrastructure that pay dividents indirectly by means of economic growth. As at september 23rd (and stock prices were probably as high or higher then compared to now) the superfund made a return of about ca5%. This is over a number of years since its inception.

    If this money had been invested in the New Zealand economy, either as fast tracked infrastructure of yes tax cuts (which if implemented appropriately are an investment as they stimulated the private sector which in the long term will pay more tax) the return would have been higher in my opinion. This is this crux of why I oppose the cullen fund.

    Yes borrowing to save would have resulted in a significant profit in this particular case – but this is also a risky move. The government should absolutely not be taking on undue risk. Not only would this increase the cost of credit, but its gambling with all our futures.

  13. tsmithfield 13

    I have also seen argued on this site that the market is going to crash again to even lower levels and send the world into a depression greater than the 1932 one. There are also plenty of bearish commentators who share this view and can point to plenty of reasons why it could happen.

    Lets say the government had invested the Cullen fund in the markets and such a crash actually happened, I bet there would be plenty of criticism from this site about how much the government had lost us with their foolish decision.

  14. So Bored 14

    TS, you under estimate our powers of criticism. I was highly critical of the Cullen scheme because it was going to invest cash in financial markets that were at the time over-inflated bubbles, just plain bad investment practice. Having said that the goal of the exercise was far in advance of anything the NACTs could ever envisage, that is to challenge and do something about that future funding an of aged retired populace.

    As to the market crashing again nothing is more certain, its what they do, just a matter of when. On the flip side they go up aswell….commentators on this site atleast question the validity of the whole market based economic approach to providing a fair society.

  15. sean14 15

    After all the evil capitalism threads posted on The Standard you’re now complaining that the Government hasn’t played the stock market well enough?

    I thought profits were evil things made from the sweat and broken backs of the poor down-trodden working class?

    • So Bored 15.1

      Sean, too right I criticise all sorts of cocks ups whether I believe in the underlying structures or not.

      In the case of the government, they did not play actually play the market themselves, their cock up was to allow somebody else to do it for those Kiwisavers. A good funds manager would have picked the risk and found a safer haven for the cash, so yes I am highly critical.

      Your statement on where profits come from is quite pertinent, its actually the way it is, but it is nice to think that profits might come back to the very people doing both the investing and the work.

    • snoozer 15.2

      if there wasn’t capitalism, there would still be assets and a system for exchanging control of them and distrubuting the wealth generated by them.

      Anyway, you live in the system you live in. You might want to change it but you also shouldn’t act stupidly.

  16. JD 16

    So Marty how much did you make on your heavily leveraged directional play? Probably nothing because you’re talking from the rear view mirror perspective.

    Shudda cudda wudda.

    One of the main reasons why some many banks are insolvent and remain so today is that they gambled with borrowed money. So how responsible is it for you to advocate that the govt should do they same?

    • snoozer 16.1

      um, all banks do is invest with borrowed money. They take your savings and lend it to someone else, or invest it. In fact, they lend it out many times over.

  17. tsmithfield 17

    In NZ dollar terms the value of the American stock market has hardly changed due to the depreciation of the American dollar. The rise in the stock market has almost equally been offset by the rise of the Kiwi against the USD if you analyse it since the low point in March. Hence, investments in the US stock market would have yielded very little.

    • Bright Red 17.1

      The Cullen Fund has made an 11% return since July. If we had been putting the contributions into it we were meant to have, they would have earned the same or similar returns

  18. Homo Domesticus 18

    Corrupt and cant Bill English must resign now or be tried for corruption. He knowingly enriched himself from the public purse with money he is not entitled to. Rise Friends, and oust the bludger English.

    Homo d. (FPP)

  19. JD 19

    “um, all banks do is invest with borrowed money. They take your savings and lend it to someone else, or invest it. In fact, they lend it out many times over.”

    Ah the gentrified world of return on asset. If banks only did this then a lot of nasty things wouldn’t have happened and we would all be happy. No its about return on equity and therefore leverage. Banks generally are thinly capitalised with only a sliver of equity to support ‘investment’. Now that their assets have been downwardly ‘revalued’ by the market in most cases all their equity and a large chunk of their assets are gone, hence the Troubled Asset Relief Program in the US and bank recapitalisation in the UK to rectify this.

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    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    5 days ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    5 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    5 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago

  • Record export highs picked for primary sector
    Sustained high growth in primary industry exports looks set to continue over the next two years with strong prices predicted for farmers, fishers, growers and rural communities. Minister of Agriculture and Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor today released the latest Situation and Outlook report for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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